Letter: YES for Arena and Yes for the Override!

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Proposed title: YES for Arena and YES for the Override!

My name is Karen Draper. My husband and I are 34-year residents of Reading. On April 3rd, I plan to vote for John Arena for Selectman. I actually met Mr. Arena a few years ago at a small gathering of citizens being held at our office. I found him to be intelligent, serious, and gracious. Over the years, I have watched the various town board meetings. This year, in particular, some of the Board of Selectmen meetings have been a bit contentious. Mr. Arena has been a strong leader at these meetings. He has been knowledgeable, articulate, sincere, and patient. He’s given everyone a chance to speak, and yet, he has also been disciplined to keep the meeting moving. Also, I believe he is the gentleman who often says “we can disagree, without being disagreeable.” I like this comment. Reading people have always been politically active. I love that about this town, but I want and expect people to respect each other. We might be losing that nationally, I’m afraid to say, but it should not happen here.

I want steady, experienced, forward-looking people leading this town. Recently, I attended a Meet and Greet being held for Mr. Arena at my friend’s home. This gave me a chance again to talk with him in person. Sometimes your perception of someone is different when you actually speak with him/her in person. Not the case here; John did not disappoint. What he writes about and what you see at Board meetings and in person is who he is. He is smart, genuine, thoughtful, and willing/able to continue on in his role on the Board of Selectmen. And he loves Reading! We are lucky to have him on the Board. It will be an honor to vote for him in a couple of weeks.

On April 3rd, I will also be voting yes for the override question. Our three children attended the public schools. When they were in college, two of them said to us that they were glad they went to school in Reading. They felt they had a bit of an edge. Nothing could have pleased us more. We have been fortunate to live in such a nice town.

I will vote for the override because I want other young people in Reading to feel like that. No one likes to have to pay more in taxes, but after all these years, this one is necessary. Plenty of people have given all the reasons why. I trust our town officials and our school officials. The time has come for the override to pass!

Please join me on April 3rd and vote YES for Arena for YES for the override!”


Karen Draper

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